Rihanna Saved the Super Bowl – Literally

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In total, the performance required the participation of about 800 people, from cameramen to directors, Rihanna, her 80 dancers and seven members of the group. It also required a lot of construction. To minimize the stress on the pitch, the stage Rihanna performed on had to consist of no more than 15 rolling structures (called “bogies”).

Due to the shape of the tunnels leading down to field level at State Farm, All Access, the company responsible for making the stage, had to build platforms with ladders that could be tilted for transportation. Carts range in size from 10 by 24 feet to 8 by 31 feet, each weighing between 2,000 and 4,000 pounds and equipped with “turf tires” (not a technical term) designed to move smoothly and evenly over grass. “You don’t want a player to be kicked out of the game on concussion protocol because we left hard spots on the floor,” says Tommy Rose, All Access’ production director. “We really remember that.”

Then there are the platforms themselves. Each, approximately 10 feet by 17.5 feet, was to be stored on these trusses for the first half of the game, then flown to field level on synthetic cables in those precious seven-plus minutes as the stage was set up using a series of automated motors. . Attached to the bottom of each was 512 lights, choreographed to match Rihanna’s performance. The platforms were also to be returned to the farms and remain there until the end of the game. And unlike the equipment used for previous halftime shows, they couldn’t be easily moved in and out of the stadium, meaning that some of the final rehearsals before the Big Game had to be held in the stadium instead of outside the stadium, for example in previous years.

“In my opinion, this will be the most technically advanced Super Bowl halftime show that has ever been done due to the amount of technology used to move the platforms,” says Aaron Siebert, Project Manager from Tate Towerswho made the platforms.

The floating platforms helped reduce the halftime show’s impact on the Super Bowl playing field.

Photograph: Ryan Young

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